A very common issue in adults and children alike, stomach pain can affect every individual at one point of time or another. Individuals can experience stomach pain for a variety of reasons ranging from very simple issues like indigestion and bloating to more complicated issues like stomach ulcers or cancer.And while most cases of stomach pain can be easily diagnosed and treated effectively with over the counter medications and home remedies, recurrent stomach pain may signify a serious internal problem (like appendicitis) that needs to be treated immediately.
Stomach Pain Symptoms that Need to be Checked Immediately
Stomach pain is usually not treated as a dangerous situation. However, if the pain is accompanied by other more serious symptoms, the individual in question would need to call the doctor right away. Accordingly, some of the more serious symptoms that can accompany a stomach ache include recurrent pain, consistent pain (for several days), high fever, constipation, bloody stools, vomiting, painful urination, frequent urination, urinary incontinence, tenderness (around the stomach region) and respiratory issues etc.
Treatment Options for Stomach Pain
Stomach pain can be treated in several ways, including OTC medications, prescribed drugs, antibiotics, natural treatments, herbal remedies and even surgery. However, the correct form of treatment can be decided only after the cause behind the pain is identified and diagnosed.Accordingly, some of the more common causes for stomach pain in individuals include conditions like indigestion, constipation, food allergies, abdominal gas, stomach flu and menstrual cramps (in women). Some serious conditions that can lead to recurrent or consistent stomach pain in individuals include food poisoning, lactose intolerance, hernia, stomach ulcer, appendicitis, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, kidney stones, gallstones, urinary tract infections, Crohn’s disease and GERD etc.
Mild stomach pain can be treated with over the counter medications like antacids (Maalox, Tums and Pepto-Bismol) and Acetaminophen (Tylenol, panadol and Liquiprin etc.). Antacids can also curb excessive vomiting caused by recurrent stomach pain. Ibuprofen (Midol, Advil and Nuprin etc.) can be used to treat stomach pain but need to be avoided if the individual in question has stomach ulcer or liver disease.Bowel spasm related stomach pain can be treated with a pain relieving injection which is usually administered at the hip, leg or arm. Activated charcoal can prevent stomach pain caused by food poisoning is available in the form of capsules. It is considered wise however, to refrain from using a certain drug if the pain shows no signs of abating or worsens.
Natural Treatments for Stomach Pain
In addition to standard medications and treatments, stomach pain can also be treated effectively with certain natural treatments. In addition to being as effective as medications, these natural remedies would not cause any harmful side effects.
The more common natural treatments for stomach pain include:
Placing a hot compress over the affected area can help reduce stomach pain to an extent. Alternatively, lying down in a tub filled with warm water would also ease stomach pain to a great extent.
Another very effective natural remedy for stomach pain involves mixing a tea spoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in a glass of lukewarm water and drinking the mixture for immediate relief.This remedy effectively helps to clear gas and other blockages in the stomach that could lead to stomach pain.
A very effective (and immediate) natural cure for stomach pain involves drinking a warm saltwater which is made by adding 1 teaspoon of salt to a cup of lukewarm water. Drinking this solution can effectively reduce stomach pain to a great extent. The remedy however is not considered suitable for individuals with conditions like hypertension.
Eating at odd times of the day, lying down immediately after eating a meal, binge eating, and gulping down foods etc. are all factors that can lead to digestive issues which in turn can cause stomach pain.It is considered wise to practice healthy eating habits in order to treat stomach pain and prevent recurrences. These include eating slowly, chewing the food properly before swallowing it, eating at fixed timings, avoiding binge eating and taking a small walk after meals etc.
Excess body weight or obesity could lead to the formation of fat stores around the tummy. These in turn would place excess pressure on the stomach, leading to stomach pain and other disorders like heart burn.It is considered wise to lose weight if the individual in question suffers from intense stomach pain frequently. Proper diet and regular exercises would help an individual lose weight properly (without harming the body) and take care of stomach pain in the process.
Drinking too much alcohol (or other alcoholic beverages) can increase the production of stomach acid which would in turn lead to heartburn, a common cause for stomach pain. Frequent alcohol consumption can also cause several digestive issues which could lead to stomach pain. It is considered wise to refrain from drinking altogether or limit alcohol intake to a minimum until the stomach pain disappears completely.Frequent smoking can also cause conditions like heartburn which is linked to recurrent stomach pain. Kicking the habit altogether or limiting it can help treat stomach pain and prevent recurrences in the future.
Herbal Remedies for Stomach Pain
Stomach pain can be effectively treated with several herbal remedies, most of which are recommended by doctors themselves. Given below are some of the most common herbal remedies for recurrent stomach pain. It is always considered wise to check with a qualified herbalist before opting for these remedies in order to stay safe from potential side effects (which may vary based on individual body conditions).
Fresh ginger contains potent anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat digestive system related disorders that can cause stomach pain. The best options would be ginger tea or ginger supplements that need to be taken as per the instructions mentioned in the package. It is considered wise to refrain from eating ginger candies though as they can contain artificial sweeteners or processed sugars which can lead to stomach upset.
Stomach pain can be easily treated with just a lemon and a glass of warm water. Drinking a mixture of fresh lemon and water (made by squeezing the lemon into the water) can help ease painful stomach cramps. A few teaspoons of lemon juice would also do the trick during emergencies.
Licorice is a common ingredient in many herbal teas and is also available in the form of supplements. Raw licorice can also be chewed on in order to prevent bloating or indigestion after heavy meals. A suitable alternative to licorice is fennel which is also known to be an effective herbal cure for stomach pain caused by digestive disorders.
Diluted apple cider vinegar can be used to cleanse the stomach of unwanted waste materials and impurities that could otherwise contribute to stomach pain.Apple cider vinegar also aids in digestion and assimilation, thereby preventing stomach aches that could be caused by issues related to these processes. Drinking some apple cider vinegar (the diluted form) before a meal can help prevent stomach ache to a great extent.
Considered as an excellent herbal remedy for stomach pain and other stomach related disorders, chamomile herb can be taken either in its raw form (dried flowers) or as a tea (found in several grocery stores). Drinking chamomile tea regularly can reduce stomach aches to a great extent and prevent recurrences.
Persistent stomach pain which either does not reduce or worsens with time could possibly indicate a more serious problem that would need to be handled by a doctor. In certain cases, surgery might be needed to treat stomach pain caused by a condition.The more common instances in this case would include peptic ulcers (which may cause holes in the stomach or excessive bleeding in the digestion chamber), bowel obstruction (severe cases may require surgery to clear the blockage), perforation (holes in the digestive tract caused by ulcers, infections or sharp particles), gallstones (large sized stones block the ducts connecting the gall bladder to other vital organs), kidney stones (large sized stones that block the ureters) and appendicitis (which needs to be removed before it ruptures) etc.